Tech Green Action focuses on wetland conservation

December 18, 2009

by Ashley Dison

Tech Green Action will concentrate its attention on wetland restoration this quarter and will continue its fundraiser of recycling old cell phones and ink cartridges for a profit to benefit these efforts.

The money raised in the fundraiser will help fund a trip to the New Orleans coastal area, so members of Tech Green Action can become actively involved in the wetland restoration work and attend a workshop on wetland restoration.

Michelle Tims, president of Tech Green Action, said members of the group will have a booth set up near the Student Center each Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where drop boxes will be placed for collection of the items. Information on the wetlands mission will also be available to students and faculty.

“This quarter our main two goals are to spread awareness and to get students actively involved in wetland education and restoration,” Tims said.

Tims, a junior sociology major, said these deteriorating ecosystems are a concern because they provide many resources that help stimulate the Louisiana economy.

“Our wetlands are extremely significant to Louisiana because they provide our state with economic security through the many natural products they produce,” Tims said.

“They also provide a massive amount of protection against flooding and shoreline erosion.”

Jeffrey Yule, Tech Green Action adviser and an assistant professor of biological sciences said coastal erosion is due to unnatural diversions of the Mississippi River, which send soil sediment further away from the coast.

“Diverting water from the Mississippi by letting it flow into the gulf in a more natural way is what will prevent this erosion,” Yule said.

According to www.wetlands.org, wetlands provide a basis for human survival and development because they provide food and water, control floods, stabilize the shoreline and mitigate climate change.

The Web site termed wetlands as areas on which water covers the soil or is present either at or near the surface of that soil.
Tims said these facts are what Tech Green Action hopes to convey to students and other citizens.

“Every 38 minutes we lose a section of our wetlands equivalent to the size of a football field, so we hope we get enough people involved, or at least informed, [so] that we can finally step up to address this environmental issue,” Tims said.

She said the group will meet each Thursday at 5 p.m. in Carson-Taylor Hall, Room 122, and everyone is welcome to attend these meetings and encouraged to donate old phones and ink cartridges.

“We will collect the recycled items at our booth each week, and we will also be going around campus to collect,” Tims said.
Yule said he commends the student members for their efforts.

“What they are doing is solely their project,” Yule said. “I’m just their adviser, and I’m proud of their initiative. I like our state, and I want us to wake up and realize that we need to protect our wetland environments for our own sakes.”